StoryCorps

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
StoryCorps App Poster Image
Capturing and sharing family stories couldn't be easier.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

The learning opportunities abound, including developing speaking and listening skills, practicing asking strong questions, and connecting with other people through their stories.

Ease of Play

Developing an interview, conducting it, sharing it, and listening to other stories is a simple step-by-step process.

Violence

Real stories include reflections on real experiences, including some survival stories.

Sex

Stories include anecdotes about falling in love and descriptions of the process.

Language

Oral stories are authentic conversations, and some include expletives.

Consumerism

Sponsor ad appears when app is first opened.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the StoryCorps app is a platform for planning, conducting, and sharing oral history interviews that can be cataloged in the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is broadcast weekly on NPR and is available as a podcast. Through the app, listeners can hear featured stories that have been curated or listen to any stories created by other users and shared in a social media-style feed. The terms of use specify that users should be 18 or that those over 13 but under 18 have a parent's permission, but it's definitely possible for kids under 13 to operate the app successfully. Teens can create and record interviews but not share them publicly. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

The STORYCORPS project has been around for years, starting in physical recording booths set up for people to interview loved ones and share stories. Stories are archived in the Library of Congress, and some are featured weekly on NPR. The app gives anyone, anywhere the means to plan, prepare, and execute an interview and share it with the world (or keep it to themselves). Questions are organized by theme: warm-up, parents or grandparents, military service, school experiences, and more. Interviewers add questions to their queue and then scroll through them as they record. Then the interview can be saved and shared.

Is it any good?

Everything needed for a deep, thoughtful interview -- from themed questions to recording tips to an audience -- is available and easy to use in this impressive tool. The questions are thoughtful and discussion-provoking, and the StoryCorps interface is super-easy to use, allowing for a polished yet casual conversation. The feed displays featured stories, which are impressively inspirational. Users can also follow friends and family and share stories with them more privately. The technology is amazing, and the stories are priceless.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of oral histories and sharing stories. How does an app like StoryCorps make the process easier? 

  • Even if you choose not to record or share the interviews publicly or catalog them in the Library of Congress, encourage kids to interview grandparents or friends from other generations. Older family members can also interview younger ones.

App details

Themes & Topics

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